Defining Levels of Competency for a Job’s Requirements: Basic

Reading a job description can sometimes feel like you’re trying to decipher an intricate code. For administrative positions, businesses will use all kinds of language to try and determine whether a potential candidate is truly qualified. But the words are sometimes more confusing than enlightening. For example, they will often suggest the job requires a “basic” proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But what does that really mean? In the first of this series, we’ll take a closer look at what basic really means for these programs.

Basic Word

With basic Word skills, you should know how to produce word processing tasks such as writing letters or creating reports. You’ll have very basic skills with formatting, creating files, typing, and saving documents. You can select items, use tabs, and be able to search a document. Printing will also be a part of this function.

Basic Excel

Data entry is the primary skill for basic Excel experience. You can enter and correct information, modify the spreadsheet or workbook, and print. You can use the basic menu commands, format cells, rows, and columns, and be able to print your work. You may also know some of the basic mathematic functions such as AutoSum.

Basic PowerPoint

Basic knowledge of PowerPoint gives you the ability to create a presentation, run it, and print it. You will be able to create title and bullet slides, edit text, add images, insert tables, and use slideshow options like animation or transitions. You can also add presenter notes to slides.

Basic Outlook

Outlook is one of the most common email interfaces used by businesses. To use Outlook on a basic level, you should be able to open and read emails, send emails, and add attachments. You should also be able to sort emails into folders to help with efficiency and the organization of essential data.

Different companies will have different basic needs on these programs and they’ll generally be required for even entry-level administrative positions. Knowing how to interpret a job description and add these skills on your resume will be essential for career growth.

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